Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cheddar Cheese Scones!!!

Yum. Cooler weather has arrived and with it comes the craving for soups and stews of all different varieties. Chili is a must make during the fall, and of course cornbread to go with. However, I came across a jalapeno cheddar scone recipe on another food blog I follow that sounded like it would be good with chili. I know how picky my family is about their food so I made 1/2 the recipe with jalapenos, and the other 1/2 without. My brother was the only one who liked the spicy jalapeno ones, but everyone else loved the plain cheese ones. I loved them so much that I have made them twice in 5 days! The key to all biscuits and scones is to not over mix! Over mixing makes them become tough and dense...where is the ideal texture is light and flaky. This original recipe called for rolling the dough out and cutting it with a biscuit cutter, but that sounded too ambitious for my tired overworked self, so I just scooped and dropped instead...way easy, and way bueno. These are wicked fast to make, I literally whipped up the dough in less than 10 minutes...and they baked really fast as well!

original recipe from Smitten Kitchen Blog:

Cheddar Cheese Scones
adapted by moi.

- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick or 4 ounces) cold butter, diced
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, diced*

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine the 2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt. In separate bowl toss diced cheese with 1 TBSP of the flour/baking powder/salt mixture. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender, fork or blend in stand mixer with paddle attachment until the butter bits are pea sized. Lightly whip the eggs and cream in a small bowl and add to the flour-butter mixture. (reserve the bowl and any egg/cream mixture that is left on the sides) Using a wooden spoon, fold mixture only until it begins to come together. Add the cheese to the dough and mix only until everything is incorporated. Scoop out scones with medium ice cream scoop onto parchment lined or oiled cookie sheet. Flattened slightly with palm of hand. Brush the scones with egg/cream remnants from small bowl. Bake for 7 minutes and then rotate pans, and then bake for 5 more minutes or until golden brown.

*I used extra sharp Vermont White from Cabot....very delicious!

A food history lesson: Taken from Wikipedia.

While I was writing this post the question popped into my wee little brain...what the heck is the difference between a biscuit and a scone?

A biscuit (pronounced /ˈbɪskɨt/) is a kind of small, flat-baked bread product that is usually made with a chemical leavener such as baking powder. The origin of the word "biscuit" is from Latin via Middle French and means "cooked twice". Some of the original biscuits were British naval hard tack; such hard tack was made in the United States through the 19th century. Throughout most of the world, the term biscuit still means a hard, crisp, brittle bread, except in the United States and Canada, where it now denotes a softer bread product baked only once. The word 'biscuit' transliterated into Russian or Ukrainian has come to mean 'sponge cake'. Biscuits have a firm browned crust and a soft interior, similar to British scones or the bannock from the Shetland Isles.

The scone is a small British quickbread (or cake if recipe includes sugar) of Scottish origin. Round-shaped British scones can resemble North American biscuits in appearance, but scones rely on cold butter for their delicate, flaky texture, while biscuits are more often made with shortening and are crumbly rather than flaky. Also, while scones are served with coffee and tea or as a dessert, biscuits are served more as a side bread often with breakfast.[7] In Scottish language the verb scon means to crush flat or beat with the open hand on a flat surface, and "scon-cap" or "scone-cap" refers to a man's broad flat cap or "bunnet".

After reading a few articles I found my answer here:

What is the difference between biscuits and scones? They use basically the same procedure to arrive at two different kinds of baked goods.

Summarized answer:
The main difference between biscuits and scones is that scones tend to have eggs and are sweeter and more elaborate, while biscuits don’t include eggs and have simpler, more savory ingredients. That doesn’t mean a biscuit has to be plain. It’s just that biscuits are more likely to have cheese or fresh or dried herbs in them rather than, say, currants or chocolate chips. Biscuits are also more likely to be served with a meal than as a dessert or tea item, which explains their savory nature.

Consider yourself educated.

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